Comments from the Officials to
District Event
that was on
SUNDAY 9th JAN 2005
String Results Planner's Comments Controller's Comments  
Organiser's Comments

Northamptonshire forests once had a reputation for being thick and thorny with heavy clay fields making parking impossible. Fortunately we were again able to prove that this is not necessarily the case. Car parking was indeed a worry but the gateway did just about stand up to the demands of the day, with the added bonus the field adjoined the forest. Many thanks to Caroline Brocklehurst for use of the field.

On the day arrangements went smoothly, although apologies to anybody who turned up for a late visit to the string course after their main run only to find it had already closed. Computing difficulties caused by setting the punching start function wrongly meant that some people received meaningless times on the day although correct times were soon posted on the club web site. Subsequent difficulties did however mean that split-times were delayed. Many competitors like to analyse these immediately after their run, sorry for the enforced wait, but hopefully they will bring back pleasant memories of your run for most of you!

SMOC is only a small club and a big ‘thank-you' is due to all members for their help, even if one or two competitors were not able to be as polite to them as should be the case. Another big ‘thank-you' to Lester Evans who recovered a lost control unit. Also thanks to Roger Edwards who I believe had his first introduction to controlling a Badge Event and hopefully did not find it too stressful!

Keith Downing - SMOC

Lost Property - available from Organiser

email: or tel: 01234 270018

SI dibber – not used during the competition so not traceable to its owner

Planner's Comments

I often go to events and wonder ‘why didn't the planner go there?' Planning Bucknell was a good reminder of the reasons why. A considerable portion of the northern area is covered by windfalls and quite impossible to run. Add to that blocks of Northamptonshire hawthorn and badger sets etc. and a good 40% is unusable for one reason or another. I thought of putting up an explanatory map for the curious but it was a good job I didn't – it would only have blown away.

However the real problem came a few short weeks before the event when we received notice of forestry work due to start from the 20 th December. This covered the original start and a number of early controls. More importantly the white and yellow courses also ran in the area. We therefore decided not to take the risk of the work not starting before the event. This resulted in a late re-planning of the courses and also a lengthy walk to the new start; the only place from which we could get a White course back to the Finish. This is an opportune time to thank the mapping team who also put in some last minute overtime around the new sites I needed.

The re-planning decision proved to be correct as work was well underway by January and a number of the original early control sites affected. The plan is to thin the whole north east of our map and, in this instance, they are collecting up the brashings. If all goes to plan Bucknell could gain a very pleasant section of open woodland.

I hope the runners on the longer courses enjoyed the oak forest in the south; it is 200 years old in 2005. No doubt planted for wooden war ships.

The windfall blocks had an unexpected, thankfully modest, impact. I wanted to be sure that runners coming from the south did not run through some dubious terrain so I clearly highlighted a path with a simple positioning control. Quite a number missed this control resulting in most of the miss punches.

Finally, a big thank you to our Controller who was, I believe, controlling his first Level 2 event He took the late changes in his stride and was most constructive in his comments and thorough in his checking.

John Shaw - SMOC

Controller's Comments

One of my club colleagues believes planners and controllers should pay to put events on, as they get so much more 'O' experiences than the competitors.  They are the only ones who visit all the control sites, get to practise multiple relocation without time penalties and have a score event when collecting in the controls. SMOC is a small club and needs its other members to take over the key roles at next year's event, I am sure the experienced people will give you some help. Give it a try, you'll find it worthwhile.

This year John got value for money.  Controls had to be moved as the leaf drop caused controls sites to disappear, areas were unrunnable with low thorns and late forestry management activity made areas with controls on easy courses unusable. The twin forests by necessity lead to some long runs between with little navigation challenge. Comments I heard about the courses were mainly complimentary so well done John.

We used ocad for course planning, and corrections were emailed frequently between controller, planner, mapper and mapping adviser. The ocad demo version allows viewing of all courses even though it does not say so the web site.

Hope you enjoyed your course and had sufficient and appropriate challenges. There were a few difficult controls 152, 173 and 174 although the splits show many found them without difficulty. If you did 134 to 159 or 171 to 154 and 153 did you go straight or use the paths?

On the organisational side a tree had blocked the road on Saturday but fortunately it was cleared before the event. The signing to and from the event was good but I did find one couple finding difficulty with the blue streamers! The entrance/exit was manageable and only one vehicle needed towing out.

Badge Times: Only slight adjustments were made to a couple of the badge times.

Roger Edwards - LEI

Roger Williams - Last updated; 03-Feb-2005